HOCKEY

U.S. eliminated from worlds with 2-0 loss to Finland

The United States’ hockey world championship campaign ended Thursday with a 2-0 quarterfinal defeat against Finland at Cologne, Germany, after a record-equaling run of six straight victories for Jeff Blashill’s young team.

Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Kemppainen scored as Finland booked its place in Saturday’s semifinals.

Canada edged Germany 2-1 to set up a semifinal showdown with Russia, which defeated the Czech Republic, 3-0. Sweden beat Switzerland 3-1, setting up a meeting with Finland in the final four.

TENNIS

SHARAPOVA PLAYING: Maria Sharapova was granted a wild card to play in the pre-Wimbledon tournament in Birmingham, England, two days after she was rejected by the French Open because of her recent doping ban.

Sharapova committed to the Aegon Classic for this year and next year in return for a wild card, said the British Lawn Tennis Association chief executive, Michael Downey.

ITALIAN OPEN: Rafael Nadal’s preparations for the French Open continued as he swept past 13th-seeded Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4 to ease into the quarterfinals at Rome and extend his winning streak to 17 matches.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The Pittsburgh Steelers released tight end Ladarius Green and long snapper Greg Warren after both failed physicals.

Pittsburgh made a rare splurge in free agency when it signed Green to a four-year, $20 million deal in March 2016, pegging him the big red-zone threat the team needed at the position following Heath Miller’s retirement.

 The opening date for the $2.6 billion football stadium under construction in Inglewood, California, was pushed back one year to 2020.

CYCLING

GIRO D’ITALIA: Colombian rider Fernando Gaviria won a bunch sprint at Reggio Emilia, Italy, at the end of the longest stage of race to earn his third victory in his first Grand Tour.

Overall, Tom Dumoulin remained 2 minutes, 23 seconds ahead of the 2014 winner, Nairo Quintana, and 2:38 ahead of Bauke Mollema.

SOCCER

PREMIER LEAGUE: Harry Kane scored four goals in visiting Tottenham’s 6-1 rout of Leicester, ensuring the Premier League runner-up is closing out the season with a swagger despite missing out on the title.

Kane will enter the final day of the season Sunday in top position to finish as top scorer. He has 26 league goals – two more than Romelu Lukaku of Everton.

Despite missing three months of the season through injury, Kane has 32 goals in all competitions.

NEW RULE: English soccer is introducing bans of at least two matches for players who deceive referees by diving to win a penalty or get an opponent sent off.

AUTO RACING

INDIANAPOLIS 500: Jay Howard topped the speed charts at the race practice with a fast lap of 226.744 mph, and Honda cars claimed nine of the fastest 11 speeds during the session.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 winner at Indianapolis, was second-fastest at 225.826 mph, and teammates Marco Andretti (225.709) and Fernando Alonso (225.619) were third and fourth. Alonso, a veteran in Formula One, will make his debut in the May 28 race.

OLYMPICS

HOCKEY: The head of the Pyeongchang Olympics organizing committee said the NHL isn’t being “greedy” preventing hockey stars going to the 2018 Games and he was willing to be flexible to meet their demands.

The organizing committee president, Lee Hee-beom, said he didn’t know the NHL’s demands but “we are ready to cooperate.”